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The Serpentine Gallery | MVRDV

30-9-2004 - 15:58
De Serpentine Gallery heeft MRVDV opdracht gegeven hun ontwerp voor het tijdelijke Serpentine paviljoen te realiseren. De Serpentine Gallery zal gedurende de zomer van 2005 geheel overdekt worden onder een reusachtig met gras beklede 'berg'.
Press release
The Serpentine Gallery has commissioned the Dutch architectural practice MVRDV to design a spectacular Pavilion that will completely cover the entire height and width of the Serpentine Gallery on all four sides throughout the summer of 2005. The vast grass-covered ‘mountain’, an extension of the surrounding park of Kensington Gardens will be a landmark visible throughout the city.

MVRDV's radical scheme re-invents the concept of a Pavilion. Departing from previous Serpentine Pavilions erected on the Gallery’s lawn, their design for 2005 absorbs the Gallery to create a marriage between the Pavilion and the Serpentine's building. All the exhibitions and events during the summer of 2005 have been programmed to complement and explore this relationship, providing a completely new experience of the Gallery and the park itself. Park Nights - an extensive programme centred in and around the Pavilion - will include largescale outdoor film screenings, experimental sound concerts, and performances and talks that embrace the drama, scale and epic nature of the Pavilion.

The ground-breaking structure will rise to 23.1 metres at its highest point, covering the Serpentine's familiar weather vane, and extending the Gallery's footprint to 2,475 square metres. With full disabled access, visitors can climb to the summit via walkways or a passenger hoist, seeing panoramic views of London from viewing platforms along the way.

Inside the ‘mountain’, a three metre space between the Gallery and the soaring walls of the Pavilion provide a dynamic lobby and meeting area and a view of the magnificent galvanised steel structural frame, weighing 200 tonnes, that supports the structure. Extending out from this area at one side is a large auditorium that will serve as a café by day and a forum for learning and entertainment at night.

This will be the fifth in the Gallery's series of annual architectural commissions, which have won international acclaim for this unique approach to showcasing contemporary architecture. Architects of past Pavilions are Oscar Niemeyer (2003), Toyo Ito with Arup (2002), Daniel Libeskind with Arup (2001) and Zaha Hadid (2000). At the time of invitation, none of the architects had completed a structure in the UK. Construction of MVRDV’s design begins in late 2004 for opening in Spring 2005.

Julia Peyton-Jones, Serpentine Gallery Director and Project Director of the Pavilion, said: "I am thrilled with MVRDV’s visionary design for the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2005. It plays on the Gallery’s park setting and pushes the very definition of what we think of as a pavilion. This project is the most ambitious that the Serpentine has undertaken since its renovation in 1998 and ups the stakes, yet again, of our annual architectural commission.”

MVRDV said: "When we approached our design for the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, we asked ourselves whether we could devise a pavilion that can be used to serve not only the Gallery but also the park by extending them both. Would it be possible to create a marriage between the two? Our solution was to absorb the Gallery into the Pavilion, transforming it into a mysterious hidden space and adding a recreational hill to the park - a landmark, with far-reaching views.”

For the second year running, the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion will be supported by Eurex, the world's largest futures and options market. Rudolf Ferscha, Chief Executive Officer of Eurex said: “We are delighted to be associated with one of London's finest and most accessible modern and contemporary art galleries and the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion offers us a fantastic opportunity to interact with our London-based customers and the community at large. Eurex stands for open and equal access to financial markets. We connect people across borders and, in this spirit, we support this exciting project.”

Engineers Arup will again play a key role in the realisation of the structure. Cecil Balmond, Deputy Chairman of Arup, said: "MVRDV has shown a boldness to explore materials and configuration not just of buildings but of information systems and data, how one becomes the other, and in architecture the contemporary being a continuous exchange of space and material - a perfect answer to the Serpentine Pavilion in the park."
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